United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DECISION AND ORDER
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge United States District
Stevie Allan West filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging that Defendant Captain Todd Christie of
the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office violated his civil
rights by placing him in an administrative step program
without a hearing and retaliated against him for filing an
inmate grievance. Presently before the court is
Christie's motion for summary judgment. West did not file
a brief in response to the motion for summary judgment but
filed a declaration reiterating that he was placed in an
administrative step program without an administrative hearing
because he filed an inmate grievance. For the following
reasons, Christie's motion will be granted and the case
will be dismissed.
West did not respond to Christie's proposed findings of
fact (ECF No. 38), they are deemed admitted for the purposes
of summary judgment. See Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d
680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003) (“[F]ailure to respond by the
nonmovant as mandated by the local rules results in an
admission.”); Civil L.R. 56(b)(4) (“The Court
will deem uncontroverted statements of material fact admitted
solely for the purpose of deciding summary judgment.”).
was originally booked into the Winnebago County Jail on
December 30, 2016, after being charged with battery while
housed at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute. From
September 19, 2017, to October 6, 2017, West was incarcerated
in administrative confinement. The Winnebago County Jail, on
occasion, houses inmates in administrative confinement for
management purposes when the inmate's behavior
constitutes a threat to the safety of the inmate, the safety
of other inmates, or the safety of jail employees.
Administrative confinement is not a punishment but is used
when an inmate's behavior requires close monitoring.
Defendant Christie reviews all decisions to house inmates in
administrative confinement for management reasons.
was incarcerated in administrative confinement for management
purposes due to his repeated and recurrent disturbances
caused by West which threatened the safety and health of jail
inmates, jail staff, and other Winnebago County employees, as
well as the orderly operation of the Jail. The decision to
house West in administrative confinement was reviewed and
approved by the State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
Jail records relating to West's incarceration reveal that
West was housed in administrative confinement on the
following dates, for the following reasons. On September 13,
2017, West ripped up his uniform top and ripped open his
mattress and pulled out the stuffing. Less than one hour
later, he ripped the cover of his new mattress and ripped up
his sheets. Later that day, West received a notice of the
alleged misconduct, charging him with tampering with,
damaging, or defacing county property. On September 14, 2017,
the Jail conducted a disciplinary hearing, and found West
guilty by acceptance of discipline. West received ten days in
September 18, 2017, West threw urine at staff; broke a
sprinkler head; smeared feces on his arms, face, hair, cell
window, and walls; and hit the larger window by the door,
which resulted in the window cracking and shattering. The
next day, he received a notice of the alleged misconduct,
charging him with throwing, smearing, or the inappropriate
intentional misplacement of any biohazard substance. West
indicated on the notice that he did not wish to have a formal
disciplinary hearing and consented to the disposition of the
matter set forth by the jail administrator. He received ten
days of disciplinary segregation but was allowed to keep his
items and could request a shower when offered. That same day,
September 19, 2017, West was placed in the administrative
step program to improve his behavior while he remained in
administrative confinement. Under the program, West could
earn back his individual items and other privileges offered
to jail inmates in exchange for better behavior.
September 24, 2017, West covered his cell window with a
substance and paper, placed wet wood chips in front of his
door, placed a red uniform around his neck, and knelt to the
floor. On September 28, 2017, he threatened and attempted to
hang himself and smeared feces on his tray-pass and cell
windows. On October 2, 2017, he cracked and damaged his cell
window, and on October 6, 2017, he shorted the electric lock
to his door with a liquid substance, which caused the door to
open. The record suggests that West was not housed in
administrative confinement after October 6, 2017.
judgment is appropriate when the moving party shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party has the burden of
showing that there are no facts to support the nonmoving
party's claim. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986). All reasonable inferences are construed
in favor of the nonmoving party. Foley v. City of
Lafayette, 359 F.3d 925, 928 (7th Cir. 2004). The party
opposing the motion for summary judgment must “submit
evidentiary materials that set forth specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Siegel v.
Shell Oil Co., 612 F.3d 932, 937 (7th Cir. 2010)
(citations omitted). “Material” means that the
factual dispute must be outcome-determinative under the law.
Contreras v. City of Chicago, 119 F.3d 1286, 1291
(7th Cir. 1997). A “genuine” issue must have
specific and sufficient evidence that, were a jury to believe
it, would support a verdict in the nonmoving party's
favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 249 (1986). “The moving party must do more than
simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the
material facts.” Id. Summary judgment is
properly entered against a party “who fails to make a
showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to the party's case, and on which that party
will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Parent v.
Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., 694 F.3d 919, 922 (7th Cir.
2012) (internal quotation marks omitted).
Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause protects
persons “against deprivations of life, liberty, or
property; and those who seek to invoke its procedural
protections must establish that one of these interests is at
stake.” Wilkinson v. Austin, 545 U.S. 209, 221
(2005). “A pretrial detainee cannot be placed in
segregation as a punishment for a disciplinary infraction
without notice and an opportunity to be heard; due process
requires no less.” Higgs v. Carver, 286 F.3d
437, 438 (7th Cir. 2002) (citing Rapier v. Harris,
172 F.3d 999, 1004-05 (7th Cir. 1999); Mitchell v.
Dupnik, 75 F.3d 517, 524-25 (9th Cir. 1996)). No process
is required, however, if the inmate is placed in segregation
not as punishment but for managerial reasons. Id.;
see also Zarnes v. Rhodes, 64 F.3d 285, 291 n.5 (7th
Cir. 1995) (declining to find that placing a pretrial
detainee in administrative segregation constitutes punishment
in every instance). In other words, so long as the purpose of
the administrative confinement is preventive rather than
punitive, an inmate is not entitled to notice and a hearing.
Higgs, 286 F.3d at 438 (citing Swofford v.
Mandrell, 969 F.2d 547, 549-50 (7th Cir. 1992)). In this
case, West has presented no evidence to contradict
Christie's showing that West's placement in
administrative confinement was nonpunitive and implemented
for the purposes of protecting the health and safety of West,
jail staff, and other inmates. In addition, West has not
established that his conditions of confinement while he was
housed in administrative confinement were unusually harsh.
See Marion v. Columbia Corr. Inst., 559 F.3d 693,
697-98 (7th Cir. 2009) (“[A] liberty interest
may arise if the length of segregated confinement is
substantial and the record reveals that the conditions of
confinement are unusually harsh.”). Accordingly, West
was not entitled to a hearing regarding his administrative
confinement placement, and Christie is entitled to summary
judgment on West's due process claim.
also alleges that Christie retaliated against him for filing
an inmate complaint. West filed an inmate grievance
complaining about being unable to obtain case law on
September 16, 2017. The following day, the Jail issued West a
copy of the administrative step program, and West was placed
on the first step of the program. West claims Christie placed
him the administrative step program for filing the inmate
complaint. In order to succeed on a claim of retaliation,
West must show that he engaged in activity protected by the
First Amendment, he suffered a deprivation that would likely
deter First Amendment activity in the future, and the First
Amendment activity was at least a motivating factor in
Christie's decision to take retaliatory action.
Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 553 (7th Cir.
2009). West's claim fails because he has not established
that he suffered a deprivation caused by the protected
activity. The evidence in the record shows that West was
placed in administrative confinement and was offered to be a
participant in the step program to earn his individual ...